So it turns out that Star Wars isn’t the golden ticket to infini-money, after all. Despite wielding the cinematic might of both the Lucas and Marvel universes, Disney’s Infinity series is no more. Is the death knell for the entire toys to life genre on its way? Absolutely not.
First of all, the closure of Disney Infinity is obviously a bad thing for those affected. Large teams of seriously talented developers now have uncertain futures due to Disney pulling out of the games development business. My very best wishes go out to all displaced as a result. But away from the big issue of studio closures, is the end of Disney Infinity a bad thing? Speaking as somebody who’s blown plenty of cash on the franchise so far, the answer for gamers is no, and it’s not just because rumours of planned, pricey 12-inch Jack Skellington and Darth Vader models would have caused many an argument between me and my boss, Mrs Pellett.
The toys to life genre is one that demands investment from its audience, so splitting that pool of punters between Skylanders, Disney and Lego was always going to cause issues. With store shelves creaking under the weight of add-ons for them all, it was a clear case of “three’s a crowd.” Losing one doesn’t just mean there’s less burden on gamers’ wallets; profits for the remaining two titles should rise, shoring up their futures as the one-on-one battle fosters healthy competition.
But the biggest reason why Infinity’s closure could benefit us fans involves the newest player in the genre: Lego Dimensions. We’ve had Lego Star Wars games. We’ve had Lego Marvel games. But while Disney Infinity was still in the picture, we were never going to see those brands appear in Lego Dimensions. Now? Our wishes will surely come true. It’s unlikely to stop there. In May, Lego launched a new blind pack range of Disney mini-figures: Mickey, Minnie, Peter Pan, Toy Story stars, The Little Mermaid characters and more. An incoming Lego/Disney partnership for Dimensions is obvious, teeing up years of dream add-ons in the process. Six years in, the future of toys to life is rosier than ever before.